6 Natural Remedies For Hyperpigmentation

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There’s so much that goes into getting ready in the morning. Waking up, getting out of bed, showering, getting dressed, etc. And, of course, the essential skin care routine.

Washing our face and then moisturizing are basic steps in our morning routine. This is usually about the time in the morning where I look in the mirror for the first time. On a good day, I just put on the makeup basics and I’m good to go. On a not-so-good-day, though, I might notice a few lines starting to form, or even a zit ready to break through. The laugh lines I can handle, and the acne my makeup can handle. But when I one day noticed a dark spot … that was a new one for me. I wasn’t really sure what it was, what to do about it, etc., and it was the last thing I needed first thing in the morning. Yet luckily hyperpigmentation is not the end of the world, and there are plenty of ways to treat it.

What Is Hyperpigmentation? What Causes Hyperpigmentation

Woman checking her skin in the mirror.

Woman looking at her skin in the mirror.

Hyperpigmentation is actually more common than you might think. It’s usually harmless, and it refers to having certain parts of your skin become darker than your typical skin tone. Hyperpigmentation can occur in people of all skin types.

Hyperpigmentation happens when extra melanin, the pigment which regulates our skin color, accumulates. This can be the result of taking certain medications, pregnancy, undergoing specific medical treatments such as chemotherapy, or experiencing sun exposure.

You may have previously heard of age spots or liver spots, which are forms of hyperpigmentation. Also called solar lentigines, these spots appear as the result of sun damage. You’ll usually notice them on your hands, legs, face, or anywhere else that commonly gets sun exposure. Hyperpigmentation can be broken down into several different types, including melasma, sunspots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Melasma Vs Hyperpigmentation

Melasma is also known as chloasma faciei or the mask of pregnancy (when it occurs in pregnant women), and it’s a type of hyperpigmentation. It’s essentially a tan or dark skin discoloration.

So many factors can lead to melasma, such as genetics, sun exposure, skin irritations, and hormone changes. Melasma got its pregnancy nickname because although anyone can experience it, it’s especially common amongst women, and particularly pregnant women as well as women who are taking certain types of contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy medication. In pregnant women, melasma most commonly appears on the stomach and face. People with darker skin are also more prone to melasma than people with fair skin. Stress and thyroid disease might also prompt the appearance of melasma.

Melasma won’t do you any harm, but you might be self-conscious about it. If it starts appearing, talk to your doctor about it and they can refer you to a good dermatologist.

How To Treat Hyperpigmentation Naturally

Hyperpigmentation is nothing to get hyper about. There’s a good chance that you can treat the issue simply at home without needing to go to tons of doctors or spend tons of money on treatments. These home treatments can help protect your cells or replace hyperpigmented cells with new ones.

Many of these home treatments involve using antioxidants and acids in order to help and balance your skin. The treatments might not be as strong as the chemical peel that you’d get by going to your dermatologist, but their effects can still help your hyperpigmentation woes.

Some of the ingredients you can use in home remedies might surprise you. Take yogurt or milk, for example. They contain lactic acid, which is often included in chemical peels. Green tea can also help thanks to its main active ingredient, EGCG. Licorice extract is also showing promising results in the fight against hyperpigmentation.  

6 Natural Remedies For Hyperpigmentation

If you want to avoid putting tons of unpronounceable chemicals onto your body, you’re probably eager to learn more about natural remedies for hyperpigmentation. Well, you’re in luck, because there are plenty of methods to try. Let’s take a closer look at the top 6 natural remedies for hyperpigmentation.

1. Vitamin C For Hyperpigmentation

Birds eye view of woman floating in water with sliced citrus fruits.

Regenerate skin with vitamin C.

Vitamin C can help ward off a cold, but it can also help with hyperpigmentation caused by the hot sun. In the form of ascorbic acid, vitamin C can help with the appearance of your skin.

It’s not totally clear just how effective vitamin C is in treating this issue, but since vitamin C is a generally safe substance to use without any side effects, it doesn’t hurt to try it. You can apply vitamin C-containing foods such as grapefruit, lemon, or papaya to your skin. This can help boost the amount of antioxidants and inhibit melanin production, lightening the skin cells gradually. It can even help prevent hyperpigmentation from happening in the first place.

2.  Turmeric For Hyperpigmentation

As we mentioned, one of the things that can lead to hyperpigmentation is inflammation. Therefore, allow me to introduce you to turmeric, your new anti-inflammatory friend. Turmeric can help reduce swelling and irritation, and this can in turn worsen other skin issues too.

Turmeric is effective as an anti-inflammatory ingredient due to curcuminoids, the active compounds in turmeric. More research needs to be done in order to give a clearer picture of just how it can help with hyperpigmentation. However, research does suggest that it can help prevent and address bacteria in our skin, which can generally lead to a whole bunch of issues like acne (which can consequently lead to hyperpigmentation).

Turmeric is also a great source of antioxidants, which work to prevent free radical damage to your skin. Protecting your skin from this damage can, like you probably guessed by now, help prevent hyperpigmentation. One study actually found that a turmeric cream minimized hyperpigmentation by over 14% in a month, so the results are promising but mild.     

3. Aloe Vera For Hyperpigmentation

Cross section of aloe vera leaf

Use aloe vera to help hyperpigmentation.

Not just a treatment for burns, aloe vera can also serve as a natural way to treat hyperpigmentation. This is thanks to aloin and aloesin. Aloin can break up melanin in the skin, while aloesin helps by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for the production of melanin.

Unfortunately, research is not conclusive about whether or not aloe vera is a solid treatment for hyperpigmentation. Yet studies show potential, with one finding that aloe vera capsules might relieve melasma in pregnant women. You can try using aloe vera for hyperpigmentation by using the gel directly from the plant on specific areas of your skin, and in most cases, there’s no need for concern about side effects. Older plants might contain more aloin and aloesin, making them more effective.

4. Essential Oils For Hyperpigmentation

Hand dripping oil into tiny vials.

Woman using essential oils.

Nowadays essential oils seem to be the cure-all for just about everything. Feeling stressed? Use some essential oils in aromatherapy to relax. Have a bug bite? Use essential oils to soothe it. Muscles sore? Essential oils, at your service! And as by now, you’ve probably guessed, essential oils for hyperpigmentation is also a thing.

We’ve already discussed that turmeric can be very helpful in treating hyperpigmentation, but did you know that you can also reap the benefits from turmeric essential oil? Ayurvedic medicine has used it for a long time, and you too can enjoy the benefits.

Rosemary essential oil is also another one to try. It helps to improve circulation, which helps make your skin healthier. Rosemary essential oil is a disinfectant, so it can help prevent the growth of bacteria that might otherwise lead to blemishes. And it has phytonutrients, which help fight free radical damage and hyperpigmentation. 

5. Apple Cider Vinegar For Hyperpigmentation

Apple cider vinegar is another popular choice when it comes to natural hyperpigmentation treatments. It’s effective due to its acetic acid, which studies suggest might lighten pigmentation. An added plus is that apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which will make your skin healthier and therefore less prone to pigmentation.

In order to reap the apple cider vinegar benefits, you can dilute the vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio. Then put it on the areas where you have the darker patches, and leave it there for 2-3 minutes. Do this twice a day, rinsing the vinegar off with lukewarm water when you’re done.

6. Chemical Peel For Hyperpigmentation

If you want to use a chemical peel, glycolic acid for hyperpigmentation is the way to go. It’s typically included in anti-aging peels, but it’s also great for treating hyperpigmentation that’s caused by acne and scarring. Even more effective is lactic acid, which will smooth your skin and help keep it fresh.

If you’re looking for the best at home chemical peel for hyperpigmentation, try the QRx Labs Glycolic Acid 20% Resurfacing pads. They’re very reasonably priced and will treat acne scars, dark spots, dull skin, uneven tone, and even fine lines and wrinkles. The pads are completely saturated with the solution, so you don’t need to worry about them drying out. The pads also have a texturized surface to allow for exfoliation, and the finger notches make them extra user-friendly.

The glycolic acid pads feature glycolic acid as the only chemical ingredient for helping with skin-cell turnover. They also contain vitamins C and E, which provide your body with antioxidants and help with collagen. Lastly, this product is so great because it contains ingredients such as vitamin B5 which help hydrate your skin, as well as ingredients such as green tea which help minimize irritation.

Hyperpigmentation Serum Breakdown

Hand holding essential oil dropper on peach background.

Serum dropper.

Face acids do their thing by causing the top layer of your skin to shed. This clears a path for new skin cells to form and take their place. Face acids include alpha-hydroxy acids, kojic acid, and salicylic acid, and they work especially on mild hyperpigmentation on those with lighter skin. If you’re looking for a hyperpigmentation serum to use, try the FAB Skin Lab Resurfacing Liquid 10% AHA. This serum, designed for daily use, incorporates malic acid in order to help with skin tone while reducing the appearance of pores.

No matter which serum you choose to try, there are some basic ingredients that you should be looking out for. These include vitamin C, niacinamide, bearberry extract, licorice extract, and azelaic acid. Since vitamin C is crucial, you can even purchase some vitamin C in crystal form and simply add it to your regular serum whenever you want.

DIY Face Mask For Hyperpigmentation Recipe & Guide

Woman applying face mask in mirror.

Woman applying face mask.

The key to making your own hyperpigmentation mask is to use a combo of the top ingredients we’ve discussed are good at treating hyperpigmentation. Try this super easy DIY face mask for hyperpigmentation and your skin will thank you! 

To start, you’ll need a cucumber, a lemon, and 2 tablespoons of cream or sour cream. Grate the cucumber, and juice the lemon. Then mix the grated cucumber, the lemon and the cream/sour cream together. Apply the mixture to your skin for 15 minutes, and then take it off using warm water. Don’t forget to moisturize when you’re done! The vitamin C in lemon is great at addressing hyperpigmentation. And the cucumber possesses vitamins as well as bleaching agents which will help lighten dark spots. This recipe is so easy that you’ll stay cool as a cucumber while you sit back and enjoy the results.

What To Expect: Hyperpigmentation Before And After

There are plenty of ways to treat hyperpigmentation. Some are more natural, some are more chemical-based. Some will work strongly, while others will have a milder effect. The before and after treatment results really depend on a multitude of factors, including how bad the problem got, which methods of treatment you prefer, and what caused the issue in the first place.

The first step in addressing hyperpigmentation is figuring out the cause of it. Once this has been managed, the treatment will be more effective. Since sun exposure will also worsen hyperpigmentation, it’s important to cover up and wear sunscreen whenever you’re outside.

A typical treatment plan for hyperpigmentation will include sunscreens, moisturizers, and skin care brighteners such as vitamin C and kojic acid. Many will be able to see a difference after starting a proper skin care regimen with these elements. However, if this is not the case, a person might need superficial chemical peels, microdermabrasion, intense pulsed light and/or lasers. 

Conclusion

Hyperpigmentation happens to the best of us. It’s one of those pesky things that just seems unavoidable, although in some cases it totally is. Yet no matter the cause or the avoidability of it, once hyperpigmentation happens, you’re bound to be thinking about how you can fix it.

Lucky for you, there are plenty of treatment options to choose from. From the virtually hands-off to the more invasive, there are options to fit everyone’s needs and preferences. Just remember to keep in mind the top ingredients that help with hyperpigmentation, and you’re good to go!

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